Record numbers of warnings sent to care homes over illegally poor standards


More than 900 notices have been issued by the health watchdog in the past year, indicating that institutions could be closed or prosecuted without urgent action to improve, Record numbers of warnings sent to care homes over illegally poor standards

Inspectors found staff falsifying medical records and failing to investigate claims of abuse, while residents were put at risk from scalding water, and left in filthy and unheated rooms. The figures from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) show that the number of official warnings issued has risen by 43 per cent, from just over 600, in just one year. Experts said the catalogue of failings exposed a crisis in the care home sector even greater than the recent Keogh investigation into hospitals with high death rates.

Patients’ groups expressed fears that the residential homes identified as failing could be “the tip of the iceberg” as CQC’s own management has admitted that the current inspection system, which is about to be overhauled, is “totally flawed” and has missed a series of scandals.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK said: “Older people and their families deserve to have confidence that the services they use will provide high quality care, yet clearly there is still a long way to go before this is the reality across the board.”

A spokesman for CQC said the watchdog was drawing up plans for a new “tougher more effective” approach to regulation in social care, which will go to public consultation.

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